I've often fantasized about how helpful -- or at least interesting -- it would be if we could travel back in time to revisit moments in our lives. In the investing realm, for example, I'd like to know what I was thinking when I sold my shares of Capital One (NYSE:COF) some 500% or 600% ago. I end up moving on from this fantasy, though, as I don't think time travel will ever happen in my lifetime, and probably not in yours, either.

Lo and behold, there may be hope for those born in the near future. The other day, I read at Scientific American's website about what some folks at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Research are working on: "New systems may allow people to record everything they see and hear -- and even things they cannot sense -- and to store all these data in a personal digital archive."

The authors, Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, are among the researchers involved, and they've been recording the events of Bell's life for quite a while now. "For the past six years, we have attempted to record all of Bell's communications with other people and machines, as well as the images he sees, the sounds he hears and the websites he visits -- storing everything in a personal digital archive that is both searchable and secure."

Should it end up widespread, this kind of technology has many implications. It could monitor our bodies, record various health-related statistics over time, and make that data available to our doctors (and to computers that can look for worrisome patterns). If aggregated, it can impart useful information to everyone from city planners to marketers, by logging where we go and what we do over time.

The investor's take
So what might we investors make of this development? Well, we could just say, "Wow, that's neat." But that's not what Rule Breaker investors would do. They'd pay more attention, because they're the types who are looking to make big bucks by taking on some extra risk, investing in companies that break molds. (To learn more, take advantage of a free trial of our Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter.)

If you want examples of companies that are making money on new ways to do things, consider alternative-energy specialists, such as Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ:ESLR) and Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER). Or a company I was introduced to via our Rule Breakers newsletter: Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), which is involved in surgical robotics.

But back to the "MyLifeBits" project. It might end up becoming a terrific investment itself one day -- or it might just turbocharge some other companies, such as Microsoft itself. Think about companies that might be able to capitalize on such a development. Database specialists such as Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) could find a greater demand for managing the huge quantities of information that would result. Medical-information specialists, such as Quality Systems (NASDAQ:QSII), might also find new opportunities for profitable business.

In the meantime, consider checking in on the progress of this research now and then. You never know what will come of it.

Quality Systems is a Stock Advisor recommendation, and Microsoft is an Inside Value pick.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Intuitive Surgical and Microsoft. The Fool has a disclosure policy.